4 Questions With Ice Cube, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ New Criminal Mastermind
From why he’s playing Superfly to the best pizza toppings.
For those of us who grew up in the ‘90s, some things never get old. Dunkaroos. A good flannel shirt. The list goes on, but always landing somewhere at the top? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Fortunately for parents today, it’s easy to introduce your favorite pizza-eating humanoid terrapins to your own kids — because they’re back, baby. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the New York City-dwelling turtle bros (along with their new friend April O’Neil) are intent on being accepted as normal teenagers... oh, and taking down a mysterious crime syndicate, too.
Heading up the crime syndicate is none other than icon Ice Cube. He plays the criminal mutant Superfly who is, yes, a giant mutant insect. Superfly believes the world would be better off without humanity, so he plans to unleash a ton of other nefarious mutants on the wider world.
Considering Ice Cube’s own kids were huge TMNT fans growing up, saying yes to the role wasn’t a tough call. Although, it probably didn’t hurt knowing he’d have an all-star cast of comic actors playing fellow villains: Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), Post Malone (Ray Rillet), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Seth Rogen (Bebop), and John Cena (Rocksteady).
Scary Mommy caught up with Ice Cube for a quick Zoom to tap into what makes this new version of TMNT so exciting — plus, in true TMNT spirit, to find out his favorite pizza toppings.
Scary Mommy: What sold you on the idea of playing the criminal mutant Superfly?
Ice Cube: Oh, man ... what's not to like? First of all, being a part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — such a storied franchise, over 30 years of fandom and 30 years of doing great animation and live-action and comic books and all that. Then, being a new character and the leader of all the other mutants, working with Seth Rogen [who co-wrote the screenplay, and executive produced], working with Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears [the co-director] — there was so much to attract me to this film.
SM: You’ve said your kids were fans of the OG movies growing up, so you obviously know and love these characters. Who are you most like in real life?
IC: Michelangelo (laughs). Straight leader, you know what I mean? Follow me and I'll lead you to the Promised Land for sure. He's my favorite one.
SM: What's really the thing that jumps out the most to you about the movie?
IC: The animation. Like, I'm blown away by the style that was used in this film. I’m a hip-hop fan; we’ve seen graffiti from all over the world, different styles, and this reminded me of a whole movie of graffiti artists doing an animated movie ... I was just looking forward to each scene and how it was gonna be presented.
SM: Pizza is huge in the TMNT universe. What are your favorite toppings, and what toppings do you think are downright criminal?
IC: My favorite toppings are chicken, olives, mushrooms. I like pastrami on pizza; that's great. I think the toppings that are criminal are pepperoni (laughs), and I don't like sausage. But when you start like putting tomatoes and, you know, anchovies and stuff like that, you lose me — you lose me. I'm not a bell pepper guy, onions, all that kind of stuff, man. Save it for a salad.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Catch Ice Cube as criminal mutant mastermind Superfly in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, in theaters starting Aug. 2.